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Full text of "Linguistic Survey Of India Vol V Part I Indo Aryan Family Eastern Group"

163

V.-RAJBANGST.

This well-marked dialect is spoken in the country to the North-East of that in which
Northern Bengali is spoken. As in the rest of Northern Bengal, this tract has been
subject to the domination of the Koch; but the conquest was much more complete, and
the Koch tribe predominates through the land. Those Koch, who are now Hindus, are
principally known under the name of BajbangsX But large numbers of them have
become Musalrnans, so that the mere number of people of the Eajbang^I tribe affords no
idea of che number of people of Koch extraction in the country. The name of Koch is
itself retained in the name of the State of Cooch, or Koch, Behar. The Koch originally
came from across the Brahmaputra, and henqe the Bengali which they speak may
reasonably be expected to bear traces of its eastern origin. This, it will be seen, is the
case. The Eajbaagfi dialect bears many close points of resemblance to the dialect of
Eastern Bengal

The dialect is usually known as Rajbang^i, from the tribe of that name already
alluded to. It is also frequently called Rangpuri from one of the Districts in which it is
spoken.

The dialect is not confined to the Bengal Province, but extends into the Goalpara
District of Assam, in which it gradually merges into Assamese. It is the language of the
west and south-west of that District. To the south it is stopped by the Tibeto-Burman
languages of the Qaro Hills. In Bengal, it is bounded on the east by the Brahmaputra,
with the Garo Hills on the opposite side. In its extreme south-^ast corner, it just
touches the Eastern Bengali of Maimansingh, also across the river. On the south and
west it is bounded by the Northern Bengali already described, and on the north by the
Tibeto-Burman languages of the Lower Himalayas. It is spoken in the following Dis-
tricts, Eangpur, Jalpaiguri, the Tarai of the Darjeeling District, the Native State of
Oooch Behar, together with the portion of Goalpara in Assam, already mentioned. In
the Darjeeling Tarai, the dialect is influenced by the neighbouring Northern Bengali,
and has a special name, as a sub-dialect, viz., Bahe.

We thus find that the Eajbang^I dialect is spoken by the following number of
people :

Name of District,

Number of Speakers.

Jalpaiguri     .       

Cooch. Behar (Native State)
Darjeeling (Bahe sub-dialect)

Goalpara

TOTAL for Bengal

TOTAL for Assam
GRAND TOTAL

568,976

2,037,460

562,500

47,435

8,216,371

292,800

3,509,171

Bengali                                                                                                                                         T 2